Human Factors and Ergonomics workforce development project

The Human Factors and Ergonomics (HFE) profession is broad and wide-ranging, and combines a number of unique skills and sciences to support people and the equipment and environment in which they work.

In 2019 HASANZ released a stocktake of the health and safety workforce report which outlined the capacity, capability and demand within a number of New Zealand’s health and safety professions, including the HFE workforce.

Why is a HFE workforce development project needed?

The HASANZ report outlined the following challenges facing the HFE workforce in New Zealand:

  • Lack of critical mass of HFE professionals
  • Demographic pressures
  • Lack of NZ-based education pathway
  • Poor stakeholder awareness of HFE roles and capabilities.

Together WorkSafe NZ and HASANZ agreed to implement the HFE workforce development project to address these challenges over the next two years.

What will it do?

The HFE workforce development project has four key workstreams, focusing on addressing the challenges outlined in the HASANZ report.

Competence framework review – this will look at existing competence frameworks and consider the knowledge, cultural awareness and skills required to be a HFE professional in New Zealand and internationally.

Education ­– this is focused on developing a tertiary education programme in New Zealand, in conjunction with New Zealand Universities, that complies with the standards required for certification by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society of New Zealand (HFESNZ).

Scholarships and mentoring – with the aim of increasing the current number and capability of HFE professionals in New Zealand, this workstream will leverage off the HASANZ scholarship programme and look into professional leadership, mentoring and support.

Stakeholder knowledge and job creation – to raise the profile of the role and importance of HFE professionals across New Zealand.

Who’s involved?

The project is governed by the Executive Director of HASANZ Philip Aldridge, President of HFESNZ Hamish MacKie and retired Massey University Professor Stephen Legg. Each of the four workstreams has a project lead and team.

How can we keep track of it?

For more information on the project, or to get in touch with those involved, visit the HFE Workforce Development Project or contact Philip at